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April 28, 1961     The Observer
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April 28, 1961
 

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By FATHER JOHN RYAN IF WE GET TO HEAVEN, WON'T WE BE SADDENED BY THE ABSENCE OF THOSE WHO MAY BE IN HELL? We won't be saddened if a loved one is not in heaven with us. We will see that person as God sees him. We will see the infinite justice of God in dealing with that person--. the many opportunities and graces "He gave him to reach heaven and the complete and o[ten repeated rejections of those opiaortunitics. We will see he rejected God through his own fault and this knowledge will make it impossible for us to be unhappy over his absence from heaven. M A Y A MENTALLY DEFECTIVE CHILD RECEIVE THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION? Yes, he may. He should not be deprived of this sacrament. Furthermore. his Con- firmation should not be post ooned if there is no reason to expect his condition will change. AFTER COMMITTING A MORTAl, SIN WE SHOULD MAKE AN ACT OF PER. FECT CONTRITION, BUT THIS SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE AVERAGE PER- SON. HOW CAN HE BE PERFECTLY SORRY FOR HIS SINS? You are being misled by the word "perfect" in regard to contrition. You probably think of perfect contrition as sorrow, so intense that it would move you to tears The difference between perfect and imperfect contrition is not how much we are sorry but why. We regret eve::y sin because it offends God. But if our sorrow looks mere tO the harm that oflending God causes us, then it is styled "imperfect" -- compared with "perfect" sorrow ~hich focuses primarily on sin as an insult to a most lovable God. Another popular misunderstanding: that un- less you put aside Lll self-interest, your contrition re- mains imperfect. Not at all. You can be sorry for sev- eral reasons at once: the possible loss of heaven, the fear of hell, the love of God. The highest motive does not exclude the others: it simply excels them. Since perfect contrition instantly restores friendship with God, we should try to have it as soon as possikle after falling into mortal sin. But don't reserve it for those sad occasions. Tell God everyday you love Him. WILL YOU PLEASE INFORM ME AS TO WHEN JAN. 1st, TI~E CIRCUMCISION OF OUR LORD, WAS MADE A HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION? I AM POSITIVE 1 CAN REMEMBER WHEN IT WAS NOT CONSIDERED A HOLY DAY. The first mention of the feast by its present name is found in Canon 17 of a council which met at Tours in 567. It is clear from this canon, that the feast was al- ready ancient in the sixth century. The Apostolic See alone can declare, transfer or abolish holydays of obli- gation for the universal Church. In the United States the ho!ydays of obligation have been reduced, at the request of the Fathers of the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore, to six days--Christmas, Circumcision. Ascention, Immac- ulate Conception, Assumption, All Saints--by Decree of the Holy Office, December 31, 1885. DOES THE CHURCH HOLD TIIAT A SURGEON MAY LAWFULLY PERFORM AN AUTOPSY TO DISCOVER THE CAUSE OF DEATH OR TO ACQUIRE MEDICAL. KNOWLEDGE? " ::: There is no eccelsiastical law forbidding an autopsy for the reasons mentioned. However, the divine law demands reverence for the bodies of the dead, particularly for the bodies of the faith&ul; and accordingly the dissection of a body for no adequate reason -- for example, merely through curiosity--would be illicit. On the other hand, an autopsy is surely lawful when the purpose is to settle the suspicion that tl:m deceased person was murdered. Again, the reasonable hope that medical science will profit from an autopsy and be better equipped to aid the sick in the future will certainly justify the dissection of a corpse. Medical students can acquire an adequate knowl- edge of human anatomy only from this procedfire. How. ever, it should be e'mphasized that when a sufficient ex- amination of the body has taken place, what remains at it should be buried. IF A "CRYING ROOM" IS SOUNDPROOF SO THAT THE PRIEST CANNOT BE HEARD AT ALL, DO THOSE WHO ARE IN THERE WITH THE CHILDREN TRULY [-IEAR MASS? Yes they do. It suffices for the fulfillment of this obli- gation that the faithful see what is taking place at the al- tar, even though they cannot hear it. It is more correct ~o say that we must assist at.Mass on Sundays rather .~han that we must hear Mass. Of course, it would be ad- ~'isabIe if a room of this kind were equipped with a sys- :era whereby the parents who come with their children Would be able to hear the voice of the priest and to de- "lye benefit from the sermon. Questions for "YOU ASKED IT" should be sent to: Father John Ryan, St. Joseph rectory, Lena, Ill. It is qot necessary to sign your name unless you wish a per- ~onal reply. However, Father Ryan reserves the right not- use unsigned questions. With Christ we died, with Christ we rose, When at the font of His name we chose; Oh, let not sin our robes defile. And turn to grief the Paschal smile. --Roman Breviary. This is the day which the Lord hath made. This day is he most solemn of all solemnities. This day is our Pass- Upon this day our Savior Jesus Christ, according to flesh, rose again from the dead, --Roman Breviary The cloud of night is passed away; Mary, rejoice, rejoice today. Alleluia. He that abhorred not thy womb, Hath risen victorious from the tomb. --Anonymous. April 2B, 196| MOST REVEREND LORAS T. LANE ~. Publisher REVEREND ARTHUR J. O'NEILL Managing Editor REVEREND WILLIAM I. JOFFE .Asst Managing Editor )RIE GALLAGHER Women's Page Editol' }BERT WlLLEMS . News EditoE O'MEARA Business )BERT J STARR Advertising BERTOLASI Circulation The Observer, printed weekly at 413 Pleasant Street Beioit Wis- n$in, is the official newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Rockford. Second class postage paid at Beloi't Wisconsin, Subscriptions $4.00 pe! year prepaid in the United States i ALL COMMUNICATIONS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO THE i:tNERVER. 1260NORTH CHURCH STREE'IROCKFORD ILLINOIS. Please send form 3579 to the OBSERVER, 1260 Nort# Church Stceet, Rockford, Ulinois. O ons on A domestic issue which continues to occupy the nation's interest is the problem of proposed Fed- oral Aid to Education. The discussions in and out of Congress are marked with platitudes, f u z z y thinking and pro-judgments. In fact there is a strong scent of "red herring" asserting itself in this situation. The malodorous marine vertebrate in the politi- cal maneuvering over Federal Aid is the 1 o n g drawn-out and hotly controverted problem of in- clusion or exclusion of aid for private schools, This question is serving to distract the hounds' (us citizens) from the really basic issue. The ~'eal i~sue from which we are b e i n g distracted is whether or not Federal Aid is necessary even for state-sponsored schools. Lest we seem to indict the legislators, we hasten to add that "red herring" tactics are sometimes deliberate and sometimes un-premeditated. In all charity we assume that the present distracting influence of the over-emphasis on the question of aid to private schools are of the unpremeditated variety. Is Federal Aid to Education necessary? Here in Illinois it would seem to be only an added ex- pense--a questionable luxury purchased on the assumption that the Federal government has unlimited largess. In reality, the present cost of education per pu- pil per year in the public school system is more than $350 per pupil. Federal aid proposals would give the state $t5 per pupil while asking additional Federal taxes of $24. The average fourth g r a de pupil would be able to give an answer: Federal Aid under the present plans would INCREASE the average cost per pupil in I 1 1 i n o i s by the amount of $9 per pupil. More mature minds might ask another question--whether or not the control and standardization !allowing Federal aid will ac- m i i NOT ALONE REAPINGS AT RANDOM p ii I I t nswer By Gerard E. Sherry The tragic news from Cuba of the abortive attempt at revolt is one of a series of sudden uncertainties faced by millions of families throughout the world. The frightening specter of war looms on the horizon and all over the world" timre is set in the hearts of the people a great fear. If this sounds morbid, let it be taken so. For war is mor- bid, and so is the disruption of family life. Anyone who witnessed the tragedies of the last war understands this as no others can. The victims of war are not only those who died valiantly in the military service of their country but also the so-called stay- at-homes whos~ family plot beComes less and less immune from the modern meth- ods of military destruction. Question of Survival One vividly recalls the flight of families in Germany, Belgium, France, Italy in the last World War, and since then in ::i::ii::::i::::i China, Korea, IndoChina, North Africa, the l~Iiddle East, Laos and now Cuba. It is not only the question of panic that is related to the movements of civilian population. It is a question of survival, of getting away from a tyrant in order to live in peace and security. Of course, this side of war is always forgotten in the miseries of military defeat or the flush of military vic- tory. This does not mean that one should be afraid to fight. After all, the defense of one's motherland or father- land is not merely a military duty but can also become a moral duty--all the more so when it is a question of de- fending the nation against oppression and tyranny. One Grave Danger Modern methods of destruction have made total war al- most unthinkable. This has led most of the civilized coun- tries of the world to resort to using every means possible Qn tually raise the standard of education. O t h e r s might ask whether or not the standard of educa- tion is enhanced by elaborate buildings. It is a haunting tho/~ght in the face of the wide- spread acceptance of the necessity of Federal aid ---premised on the basis of the failure of individual States to maintain adequate standards--that the Intergovernmental Commission stated some years ago: "We have been unable to find a State that cannot afford to make more money available to its schools or that is economically unable to sup- port an adequate school system. Catholic comments have in the majority of in- stances been predicated on this thought: IF there is to be Federal Aid, pupils in private s c h o o 1 s have a right to a fair share. This is a conditional statement. Perhaps this is the time as citizens to examine the preliminary premise. For a study of diversionary tactics, it will be interesting to watch the fate of Senate Bill No. 991 introduced by Senator Goldwater of A~'izona, and Senator Dirksen of Illinois This bill proposes to head off the passage of the President's Federal Aid to Education Bill now in the House Commit- tee by providing rebates on Federal income tax to be given to property owners who pay school tax. The deduction would be from the amount of in- come tax due the government rather than an al- lowable deduction from gross income. This would enable the states, according to the writers of this bill, to increase their taxes for educational pur- poses without imposing additional b u r d e n s on their taxpayers, as the taxpayers will be relieved of this expense on their Federal income tax. It is an interesting alternative to the Federal tax and disbursement plan as now outlined. We pre- dict that S 991 will not get very far because of the weight of influence favoring Federal aid. It is, however an indication that there are other pos- sible solutions for these areas depressed in edu- cational standards. During the month of May, events of specia] sig- nificance will take place in each deanery of the Rockford diocese. Bishop Lane will visit designated cities in each deanery to give the Sacrament of Confirmation to groups of adults--for the most part, recent converts 'to the Catholic faith. Special efforts have been made on the parish level to bring the knowledge of the Catholic faith to others. The results have been gratifying. The adult Confirmation ceremonies are a climax and a recognition of these efforts and also serve .as a mark of special recognition for the candidates. In afiother way, the adult Confirmation serv- ices are an indication of the vitality of the Church stressing the supernatural spirituality of the mem- bers of the Mystical Body of Christ born again, nurtured and anointed for special work through the sacraments given by Christ. The Sacrament of Confirmation gives an in- crease of sanctifying grace. In addition it signs and seals the receiver as a more active member of the Mystical Body of Christ. It gives the power and the right to take part in the lay apostolate helping in the spread of the kingdom of God. It is the "sacrament of Catholic Action," the "sacra- ment of the apostolate", the "sacrament of respon- sibility." Through this Sacrament, the Holy Spirit, already presenting the soul through the grace of Baptism and the other Sacraments, now is present in a social manner enlightening and inspiring the person to be a witness for Christ. We congratulate those hundreds of Catholic adults who will have the privilege Of this advance- ment in rank and responsibility in the forthcom- ing si~ecial" ceremonies of Adult Confirmation in our diocese. in SPOTLIGHT ON SOCIAL REFORM ue rer? Every five or ten years, it seems, we must see in America the rise of a right-wing anti-com- munist movement that whips up bested controversy. Starting with the old Martin Dies com- mittee in the 30s, we have seen them come and go in one form or another. Three common characteristics can be discerned in this type of Organization. It will be basically and vigorously anti-communist.!;~!~i~:~:i:~:~:::~:~:~i~i~i~!~::~;::~!~ It will likewise be very indis- criminating as to the make-up of its member- ship. Its defini- tion of "commu- nist" will be hand tailored to fit its own social prejudices. The latest entrant to hit the headlines is an organization call- ing itself the "John Birch socie- ty." Violent Opposition Protest against this organiza- tion has already been heard in the halls of congress. Exposes have appeared in the press in all parts of the country. The group claims membership in 34 states and aims at 100,000 participants by the end of 1961. It already has a salaried stafl of 63 employes and more than a hundred fulltime or parttime vol- unteer workers. The average American citizen, with a dismayed expression, in- dignantly asks the. question, "How could any patriotic citizen possibly show opposition to an avowed anti-communist organ- ization?" The answer is q%ite simple. "The patriotic citizen is not opposed to an organization such as the John Birch society because it is dedicated to fight- ing communists. Most Dangerous Weapon "The patriotic citizen simply refuses to endorse a movement that: distoi-ts the picture of com- munism; equates 'social change' with communist; callously calls a great American 'a conscious agent of communism'; sets up stupid standards for judgment FATHER WILLIAM SMITH, $. J. and action." "But the John Birch society," comes the rejoinder, "lists the names of many prominent, influ- ential and capable American citizens as members of its na- tional council." The answer to that one is equally simple: "The more re- spectable the 'front,' the more menacing is the threat." The most dangerous thing in this world is not the atom bomb, H bomb or missile. The most dangerous thing in the world is an idea. You cannot kill a false idea with a sword or curb it with a law. Opposition to it and the an- tidote for it must rest on a con- trary sound idea. Point of Failure It is precisely at this point in its fight against communism that an mTganization such as the John Birch society Iails and fails mis- erably. We need go no further than the single fact that in a confidential communique "the founder" stig- matized former President Eisen- hower as "a conscious tool of the communists." That should be a sufficient tip-off as to the type of "communistic" on those who hold viewpoints comrary to their own, first on the list of sus- pects must be Pope Plus XI. Catholics Forewarned His Holiness advocated not merely a change in the social structure of the United States but a total reconstruction of the social order throughout the world. Any Catholic citizen who has succumbed to the allurement Of the John Birch society or is toy- ing with the idea of doing so should be forewarned. It is very, very difficult to con- vince the ordinary anticommu- nist citizen that any organization professing to be "anti-eommu: nist" can itself be a danger and a menace because of other false ideas it incorporates into its con- cept of communism. ' Frank Conniff, commentator of high repute and an authority of no small name on the subject of the Soviets, reminded his read- ers in a recent column of the his- torical evolution of so-called "an- ti" movements. If being just "anti" is the basic norm of ac- tion, the movement sooner or later must attract the attention thinking indulged in by the and the support of "antis" of all "founder." The t e n o r of the thinking is that social measures which have been enacted into law are, by and large, transforming this na- tion in the image of the commu- nist state. Only a John Birch boy is smart enough to see that The rest of us have a blind spot. Norm for Judging The norm for judging what is or what is not communism and who is or is not a communist, according to published state- types; crackpots of aH kinds. Prime I~fense Weapon i will be surprised if some sympathizer with the Birch so- ciety does not consider this ar- ticle as a sign of "softness to- ward communism." That is a unique and particu- lar characteristic of organiza- tions of this type. Any criticism of their aims, tactics, or the make:up of their membership is synonymous with sympathy for communism. As a rule it is a ments by the "founder," is. his prime weapon of defense which own knowledge, experience, and ' is supposed to justify anything psychic ability to detect the cul- prits who are betraying us. Anyone who holds or advo- cates a "liberal" viewpoint, re- gardless of whether that view- point is based upon the teaching of Karl Marx or the pronounce- ments of a papal encyclical be- comes ipso facto tainted with the virus of communism. If that be the norm upon 'which Americans must pin the label they may wish to say or do. If "poor old Ike" can be sin- gled out as "a conscious agent of communism" who can be spared from the shafts of suspi- cion? The JOhn Birch society will either die of exposure to the light or gather momentum and become a Fascist-like threat to the nation as some of our sound- est public authorities fear it , may. J ram ear-Line to avoid world conflict. Incidents which only 20 years ago would have led to the so-called "gunboat diplomacy" are now tolerated in the interests'of world peacel Prolonged negotiations take place over the release of this national and that national. Insults to countries are taken without retaliation because of the fears of war which might spread beyond docal boundaries. This fear has led to one grave danger--the tyrants o[ the world knowing the moods of the people and their fears, take risks against free peoples. Must Draw Line This "bending over backwards" is a serious weakness in the arsenal of free nations. This, because the tyrant knows that the free nations will do all that is humanly possible to preserve peace. The danger lies in the fact that even those who "turn the other cheek" eventually gave to react to save their dignity and national honor. One can go so far with a tyrant. However, there must be a line drawn, otherwise the free peoples of the world will be engulfed and enslaved. Such is the present world situation. Russian imperial- ism, aided and abetted by their allies in Havana has cre- ated an international problem of immense proportions. The most recent subversive moves made in Latin Amer- ica have been traced to Fidel Castro. Coincidentally, one Of his henchmen has recently returned to Cuba from a visit with the master tyrant, Khrushchev in the Kremlin. Castro's "agrarian reform" can now be seen for what it really is -- a power play to subvert the whole of Latin America. Wings Clipped" It is surprising to find that a great number of well edu- cated people, including some political scientists, have only recently made this discovery. Yet, the information has been available ever since Castro's student days 'and more recently in the Communist and fellow travelers he had around him in his 'rebel mountain-stronghold~ Of course, we've only got ourselves to blame. US I am reminded of the phony "wringing of hands" which took place in this country and in many neutral areas of the world during the Suez Crisis. Britain and France, with long experience in the affairs of the Middle East decided that the stability of that area and its people Would be better served by clipping the wings of the Egyptian lead- er, Nasser. Instead, led by the U.S. and neutral nations, the United Nations clipped the w i n g s of Britain and France. Must Act in Cuba Now we come across a danger to our own security in the shape of a Communist bastion on the island of Cuba. Al- though Cuba is a sovereign nation it has obligations to the United States and the rest of Latin America. Through the greed and ambition of Castro and his henchmen, the security of this hemisphere is threatened. We will have to act. We might be ~orced to intervene and establish a government more to the needs and desire of the people of this area of the world. It could mean that in doing so, we bring other world forces into play. For instance, the Russians might well come, physically, to the aid of Castro. There are not only military and economic dangers resulting from the Cuban fiasco. Christianity is very much involved. It might be our sad lot to again take up a Holy Crusade to defend Christians against atheist materialism. It all sounds very dramatic, but is also very possible. Must Support Kennedy This is not to suggest of course that our present attitude to Cuba is part of a Christian crusade. We realize that any military or economic actions we might take are ne- cessary to defend the right of free peoples to live the way they want to. Whatever action is taken by President Kennedy in the name of this country, we must stand behind him. We must stand up and be counted in order that peoples all over the world can be free of war and given hope for the future. F